High-temperature polyimide/carbon fiber matrix composites are developed by the Polymers Branch at NASA's Glenn Research Center. These materials can withstand high temperatures and have good processing properties, which make them particularly useful for jet and rocket engines and for components such as fan blades, bushings, and duct segments. Applying polyimide composites as components for aerospace structures can lead to substantial vehicle weight reductions. A typical polyimide composite is made up of layers of carbon or glass fibers glued together by a high-temperature polymer to make the material strong, stiff, and lightweight. Organic molecules containing carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen within the polyimide keep the material s density low, resulting in the light weight. The strength of a component or part made from a polyimide comes mainly from the reinforcing high-strength fibers. The strength of the carbon fibers coupled with the stiffness of polyimides allows engineers to make a very rigid structure without it being massive. Another benefit of a polyimide s suitability for aerospace applications is its reduced need for machining. When polyimide parts are removed from a mold, they are nearly in their final shape. Usually, very little machining is needed before a part is ready for use.